Horse News

Stop Horse Slaughter Bill in Nebraska

by Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition

Put the Brakes on Bloody Bill

Nebraska state Sen. Tyson Larson was a speaker at the discredited “Summit of the Horse” held earlier in Jan., 2011 at a Las Vegas casino by   Wy. state Rep. Sue Wallis, who is under investigation for possible ethics violations and fraud.

The ostensible purpose of the “summit” was to promote animal cruelty, specifically the return of commercial horse slaughter to the U.S. Larson has taken what he hopes is the next step: He has introduced a bill in the NE legislature, LB 305, which would create a state meat inspection program that theoretically would comply with the Federal Meat Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. 601 et seq., and the Poultry Products Inspection Act, 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.

The idea is that if the federal US Dept. of Agriculture – and the federal courts – accept the cooperative state inspection program in lieu of federal inspection, it would then be legal in Nebraska to slaughter horses commercially for human consumption. Currently, because federal ante-mortem inspections required by the FMIA have been de-funded for horses, commercial horse slaughter for human consumption is not legal in the U.S. But if state inspectors can legally perform the required inspections, then horses could be slaughtered for human consumption.

No word on the total cost to the state of assuming responsibility for meeting federal meat inspection requirements. But Larson has indicated in his bill that at least to start $100,000 should be appropriated for the inspections.

Pro-horse slaughter MO state Rep. Jim Viebrock tried a similar tactic last year, but the bill failed. Indeed, in 2009 and 2010 pro-horse slaughter proponents have introduced a number of bills and resolutions that were intended to promote the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. 2010, in particular, was not a good year for horse slaughter proponents. Larson touts horse slaughter facilities as important to the state’s economic development. He may want to read former Kaufman, Texas mayor Paula Bacon’s account of the economic and environmental devastation a horse slaughter house caused to her town.

Also, it is now well-established that American horses are simply unsafe for human consumption. Horses in the U.S. are not raised for human food and are typically given any number of drugs, steroids, de-wormers, and ointments, some of which have no or a very long withdrawal period, meaning humans would be in danger of consuming horsemeat filled with carcinogens and other such dangerous substances. Neither state nor federal ante-mortem inspectors can confirm any horse is safe to consume. American horses are generally not tracked, and there is no way to know the drugs, steroids or medication given to them. Horses in the U.S. may have several owners, and those that end up at slaughter are usually purchased at auctions or otherwise by kill buyers. These kill buyers probably know nothing about the horses’ veterinary or drug history.

For more on the federal de-funding of ante-mortem inspections of horses that effectively ended commercial horse slaughter in the U.S……

WHAT YOU CAN DO

LB 305 has been assigned to the Agriculture Committee. Click on the names of committee members below for their contact information and politely urge them to vote NO on LB 305. You can also reach the committee:

Phone: (402) 471-2732
Address: Room 1022, State Capitol, Lincoln NE 68509

Sen. Tom Carlson, Chairperson
Sen. Dave Bloomfield
Sen. Lydia Brasch
Sen. Burke Harr
Sen. Russ Karpisek
Sen. Tyson Larson
Sen. Steve Lathrop
Sen. Norman Wallman

If you live in Nebraska, find your state senator here. Write (faxes or letters are best) or call and urge him or her to vote NO on LB 305.

17 replies »

  1. Thank you Laura for keeping us armed with information. I would encourage everyone when contacting legislators to push for laws that would implement increased taxes on breeding/registration/etc. because unless there laws in place that will have the effect of reducing breeding, eventually legislators will be overwhelmed by the tales of starving and neglected horses and succumb to cries for domestic slaughter. We can never let that happen. Does anyone more educated than I have an idea for how to get such legislation on the table?

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  2. Good article Laura. Two very disconcerting points strike me first about his type of legislation.
    First is that there are people in powerful positions, elected or otherwise, that have the mentality to even come up with such as this let alone propose that the people accept it as something good. This kind of twisted thought process does not bode well for the human race.
    Second is how this would give birth to even more government bureaucracies. “At least 100,000 dollars to start” would hardly pay salaries for two inspectors and should be seen by voters as a ridiculously deceptive ploy to get the foot in the door. It would set precedent for expansion because of required equipment, technical support, and increasing the number of inspectors that would be needed to meet federal standards. Anyone with any sense should be able to see where this would lead.
    In order to “certify” horse meat as safe for human consumption, requirements would have to be imposed to ensure record keeping by horse owners and veterinary clinics of all drugs, medications, supplements, feed types, and who gave what to which horse when, etc., and undoubtedly the eventual prohibitions of some types now routinely given by responsible owners to help keep their horses healthy. If an owner could not prove somehow (practically impossible) that the horse would never go to slaughter for consumption, these records would be required and have to accompany the horse if ever traded or sold. If the horse had to be put down for some reason, disposition of the body would have to be recorded and certified to prove it had not ended up in the food chain for humans.
    Inspection stations that could monitor and control all major transportation entry points, rail, commercial trucking, and private haulers, would become necessary to try to ensure that no unclean horses be allowed to enter the state. No health record for the horse? No entry because we can’t take a chance on letting a possibly “contaminated horse” get into the slaughter system.
    See what the possible and probable spin-off potential of this type of legislation could be? More records and meat inspectors, more equipment, additional support elements, so many more tax dollars the initial funding of 100 thousand would be a dim, distant memory and a poor joke played on the people. A whole new state bureaucracy would have been created and can anyone name a government agency that doesn’t continually try to expand itself and increase its funding and regulatory powers? I doubt it.
    All of the above doesn’t even touch on the sickening cruelty of the slaughter process itself. Horses are not cattle, or pigs or chickens. They are very intelligent and sentient prey animals, living beings that sense when they are in danger and their first instinct is to flee, to escape. They cannot but that does not stop them from trying. Imagine yourself in such a situation …. like a bad dream but you can’t wake up to escape.

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  3. Since horses that have been given any drug at any time during their life would not be eligible for slaughter, only horses raised for the food chain would be eligible. I suppose a breeder who plans on sending the poorest end of his horses to slaughter could raise all his animals drug free until the age where he decides which ones to cull. Even at that, the number of animals eligible for the food chain would not be sufficient to make a slaughter plant for horses a viable option.

    Drugs for horses do not say “no withdrawal period”. No withdrawal means the drug does not affect the meat and the animal can be slaughtered right after the drug is given. Drugs for horses say “not for use in horses intended for food”. Every drug used on horses says this because drug companies have not and will not do the expensive slaughter studies that would prove the withdrawal times in horses.

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  4. This is just SICK, &, DEMENTED!! This is cruel, disgusting & GROSS! This is SO WRONG! Is “this” what America has regressed to ?? Isn’t there already enough poor animals suffering & dying to fill the greedy, gluttonous, bottomless guts of the human race!!?? If you can’t “fix” the problem, you just kill it & eat it!! That sounds even worse than “cave-man” mentality!! Maybe, all those immoral, sick idiots should be the ones sent to slaughter, then they can eat eachother!! You can NOT love animals, or, have compassion & respect for animals, then turn around & inflict that kind of torturous, terrifying pain & suffering, & death, on them, without even a second thought, or remorse! This is truly a nightmare we are living in, humans are despicable. I would rather eat wood, or starve, than even think of eating a horse!!!!

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  5. Thanks so much Laura, for keeping us all up to date, as horrible as it is. We must work even harder now to fight this new bill LB 305 and any other bill that comes up purposing horse slaughter! We all new this was coming….time to educate the public, as quickly as possible! I’m in, whatever needs to be done.

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  6. Thank you Laura for letting us know there are other despicable Congress people other than Slaughter Sue. I agree with Valerie above, they should be the ones that turn around and get slaughtered. They would be great company to the BLM employees, the catoor employees, the cattlemen that have stolen the ranges, and, of course those in the mining and oil industries that have also had influences in the taking of the ranges. I have often said, I would trust an animal long before I would trust some humans and these horrible individuals and employees of the above-mentioned companies are only making this a true statement. We must fight the fight harder now that there’s another a__h___ in the picture before Sue and her cohorts. GOd please bless all that are helping to save the horses and burros from slaughter and to get the wild horses back on their home ranges and keep those horses there that have been lucky enough to stay on their home ranges. And, GOd please bless and keep watch over our all our horses from all those individuals that are plotting to harm them in any way and take them away from their families.

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  7. In my note above: I meant to say, we must fight the fight harder now that there’s another a__h__ in the picture with Sue and her cohorts.

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  8. I cannot speak for everybody here but, I am sick and tired of Bob Abbey sick methods for rounding up our Wild Mustangs needlessly, Now he would like to take away their water, what kind of a sick low life person is this man????? In reference to Madeline Pickens pristine offer to Bob Abbey, has been on his table since early Dec 2010, she offers State of the Art Facilities to house our Wonderful mustangs , (again that are being rounded up needlessly) there has been plenty eniough time for him to read and understand what she proposes, and he still plans on around up throwing our magnificent mustangs in disease ridden facilities at the BLM, Something has to be done with this no account Filthy rotten Bas—d, i am throughly disgusted with anything he does……..He has been told many many times by the constituents that pay his salary, and we have proved the round ups are needless, what part of that or maybe all of it doesnt he understand?????? If he doesnt understand English he needs to remove himself along with the rest of his murdering band of uncaring fools……………..who kill for the sport of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am now sickened by the mere mention of his name………………………..

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    • Arlene, I don’t like Abbey either, but it’s not him that’s got this thing going about the horses’ “water rights.” It’s the “Feral Horse Committee” in Nevada.

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  9. I’ve asked this question a number of times in the comment section of the papers that carried this story, but so far, no answer: WHO do these clowns plan to sell this meat to?

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    • Dear Suzanne, Thank You !!!!! But I blame all this Nonsense on Bob Abbey Mainly because he is the core of these viscous Assaults……………..

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